Thursday, September 6, 2012

Words typed into Notepad at two in the morning when I couldn't sleep

I moved into a new room in a different building two days ago.

Tonight while walking back from her place, I noticed Jupiter in the sky, north of Aldebaran. Two months ago, Jupiter was a morning star. Now it's a midnight star in a sky where the autumn stars rise earlier every night.

I felt guilty that I was too distracted by my writing -- this short story is taking too long, I need to revise and finalize the new (short) novel, I really should get around to drawing more comics, this would all be so much easier if I could just quit my day job -- to be very good company.

But in another year -- for certain this time -- I won't have the day job. I won't be here, and I won't be able to see her anymore. Not like this, anyway.

Three days ago -- no, now four -- I stood at the curb outside a Philadelphia hotel and said goodbye to a girl I met in May, beneath Arcturus. Her work is taking her to Tanzania and I may very well never see her again.

Vega was almost directly overhead -- maybe inclined slightly toward the west -- when we sat on the patio above the street sipping cocktails, and she mentioned my book. There was a lot about it she liked, but she offered several points of criticism; but overall she honestly liked it and thought that it was an impressive first effort and those reviews she'd read weren't fair.

I first noticed Aldebaran and the autumn stars -- REALLY noticed them -- one September night in 2009. We'd all taken acid out in the Poconos and I kept a campfire going while everyone else was away. That very night I made up my mind to learn more about the constellations. And I resolved to finally finish the manuscript for a novel called The Zeroes, of which only the last three chapters remained to be written.

The day job would be piling the hours on next week. I wished I could quit it.

I may very well never see her again. And it's likely the last September I'll be living here, where my day job is. And I really like my day job, which I can say for the first time in two years. But the short story isn't writing itself, and I'm still worrying about a novel I wrote three years ago.

My birthday is now in less than two weeks.

It's staggering. The conceit that these moments are my only moments. That it's always my last chance.

Tonight I spent half an hour looking at the Milky Way through the binoculars when I could have been writing. It was astonishing. It always is. And there is a nonzero probability I'll never do it again.

It's what happens during the intervals between our assessments and plans for it. However deliberately we try to live it, life happens indeliberately, and largely unobserved until

"Well. I'm really not at liberty to say."


  1. If you extend this into a raunchy romance novel you could possibly make millions!

    1. Aw, shucks. You could say that about any blog post.

  2. It's one of those nights where I'm a little buzzed and I find myself agreeing and identifying with too damned much of this (except replace planets and constellations with a long series of tunnels).

    Goddamn it, dude. This is our disease.

    Brothers in arms, friends in misery, and heroes sometime in the future.

    1. A long series of tunnels? I'm curious.

      Heroes sometime in the future? I guess stranger things have happened.